This is People's Daily Tonight.
Language fever: Studying in China
As China’s economy rapidly develops and Chinese culture becomes widespread, a fever is spreading among international college students who want to learn Chinese. The number of younger generation students going to China to learn the language has grown exponentially over recent years.
There were over 440,000 international students in China from some 200 foreign countries and regions studying the Chinese language in 2016. There were some 24,000 students from the US, ranking 2nd among international student populations in China.
US President Donald Trump’s granddaughter singing a Chinese song, and the wealthy Soros daughters’ fluent Mandarin skills are impressive accomplishments that have warmed the hearts of many Chinese.
Ryan Xu at the Beijing Institute of Technology.
Ryan Xu is a student at the Beijing Institute of Technology where he studies International Economics and Trade. His parents are first-generation immigrants living in the US.
Due to his father’s career, Xu was able to attend an elementary school in Beijing. The experience provided him with a solid foundation for his Chinese language education.
Years later, during the summer of 2016, he returned to the Chinese capital. Xu found the city’s development overwhelming and was amazed by its cultural diversity. The small-town boy from California was blown away by the massive changes.
Compared with the rigid admission requirements of US universities, such as having a high GPA and SAT score, the only requirement needed when applying for Chinese universities is a passing grade on the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test.
Some universities have their own exams, especially in math and Chinese, and applicants do need to pass an interview with the schools.
Students attedned the HSK Chinese Proficiency Test in the University of Milan.
When it comes to tuition and living expenses in the US, college students need at least $25,000 a year, and that’s only if they want to attend a university in their home state. Out-of-state tuition is almost triple the normal amount for non-state residents.
In China, higher education is much cheaper. Tuition is cheaper across the board, and depending on which city a student chooses, the cost of living is also inexpensive.
Top students can apply for scholarships or receive them from the Chinese government or Confucius Institutes.
In spite of these benefits, one major advantage to be gained by studying in China is experiencing Chinese culture and collective living firsthand.
Xu pointed out how the US promotes individualism. He had never been exposed to collective thinking or living while growing up Southern California.
Throughout one semester, the enthusiastic assistance he received from him Chinese classmates or the concerted efforts from his teammates when he would play sports, they always made him feel warm and safe.
Young Chinese-Americans with the fever to pursue their Chinese dream are finding ways to those dreams to good use, regardless of how long they study in China.
These young men and women charm "harmony but different" Chinese culture: whether the Chinese, universities, teachers or classmates, they all strive to create the best academic experience based on their culture.
It may sound like a dream trip, but it’s definitely a worthwhile one.
And that's People's Daily Tonight. Thank you for joining us.
(Produced by Chen Zilin and Wang Yi)